Information Commons

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Cheryl Harshman
Library Director

Paul N Elbin Library

As knowledge, information, and technology morph, the boundaries of a traditional academic library and a computer center blur.  The Information Commons grew out of a shared vision for a technology-enabled student learning and information space.  The Information Commons enhances student learning and scholarship by offering environments that address student needs, bringing together technology, content, and personal research services in a physical space that results in an environment different from that of a typical library.

The technology in an Information Commons is intentionally more pervasive than in a traditional academic library.  Totally wireless accessible, the Information Commons has increased Internet connections to enable students the ability to access large multimedia files.

The range of services in an Information Commons is broader than in a traditional reference area.  Professional librarians assist with users’ technology needs in addition to just their information and research needs.  The Information Commons includes multimedia production capabilities and support for students wishing to use those specialties.